Baker Mayfield The No. 1 Free Agent?

October 13th, 2023
Baker Mayfield

Hot commodity?

It’s never too early to look at free agency. At least, that’s what FOX Sports thinks.

And while the Bucs are atop the NFC South and are two days from hosting the Lions on Creamsicle Day, the only game between division leaders this weekend, Bucky Brooks is looking ahead a few months.

If the free agent dinner bell rings tomorrow, the former NFL defensive back, typing for FOX Sports, thinks the most valuable free agent would be Bucs quarterback Baker Mayfield.

… Though he has never evolved into the playmaker that some envisioned, Mayfield’s experience and solid management skills have helped the Buccaneers climb to the top of the division with a handful of gritty wins. If the veteran continues to take care of the ball and dazzle with some timely playmaking, the Buccaneers could steal the NFC South behind their new QB1.

So with all the players set to become free agents, why is Mayfield No. 1? Well, he’s a quarterback. You can’t win without one (though some people still try to con themselves into believing you can).

But Mayfield over Kirk Cousins? Mayfield would be cheaper, perhaps better (if Mayfield continues his stellar play). And he’s a lot younger.

One thing to keep in mind that should scare all Bucs fans (it does Joe): Let’s say you are an NFL team looking for a coach in January and in need of a quarterback. What would you give to sign in a package deal that includes Bucs offensive coordinator Dave Canales, Mike Evans and Mayfield? Instant top-shelf offense.

And if there is ever a year to lose a quarterback in free agency, this would be the year to do it with so many quality QBs coming out of college for the 2024 draft.

Now back to worrying about the Lions on Sunday.

39 Responses to “Baker Mayfield The No. 1 Free Agent?”


    Thanks Joe you made my night lol.

  2. Tye Says:

    ‘so many quality quarterbacks coming out of college for the April 2024 draft.’

    every year with this delusion…
    Most don’t pan out after being overhyped coming out of college!

  3. BillyBucco Says:

    That’s way too forward thinking IMO. Like I said, I don’t think Canales is going anywhere after 1 year. It’s still too early for all these Baker articles because as Bowles said, we just started. We haven’t DONE ANYTHING yet. This team could still be 7-10 with some injuries you just don’t know. I really don’t think of healthy that happens, especially with the offense just getting started. If we look stellar against the Lions and win by 2 or 3 TDs and Baker throws for 4, then maybe but dang I’m excited about this team and this is wearing me out.
    Wirfs, Winfield, White, Evans, Baker in that order for me still. That could change, but he isn’t even the best FA on our team.

  4. Delusional Intelligence Says:

    Honestly, I think the Lions OC, Benji Johnson, becomes a head coach before Senor Canales. We still have a looonng season before any of this matters. Will Mike play 10 games this year? Can any QB keep playing like Baker is on 3rd down? Will we use Vita at RB?

    The only thing I do know. THIS WOULD BE A PLAYOFF GAME if the season ended.

  5. Crickett Baker Says:

    I truly hated this article. It was like the description of a horrendous nightmare where everything went wrong and you woke up more than grateful that it was a dumb, silly, dream. How many people do you really know that get their dream job and jump from it after one year? Sheesh

  6. adam from ny Says:

    whoa joe whoa!…

    joe tossing out scary thoughts for friday the 13th

  7. Buddha Says:

    The NFC South is not the worst division. In fact, it is possible that the division will produce three playoff teams. The NFC east is weak with two terrible teams. Philly and San Francisco are the cream but after them you have Dallas, Seattle, Detroit, Jacksonville, the Buccaneers, Falcons, Saints, Rams and Colts. Which will improve? Which will decline. Hard to say.

  8. Duane in Sanford Says:

    All valid points Joe. Those are problems worth having as it likely means they were a success this season. Canales bet big on himself, and is likely to get a pay raise. If Baker balls out and outprices himself for this team, just getting the compensation pick for a QB lost to free agency would be a steal by Licht.

  9. garro Says:

    Wow…Talking about getting ahead of yourself. Nothing agaist Baker but come on now!

    Go Bucs!

  10. Trump's Sharpie Says:

    Never ever pay someone after a contract year

  11. rickym Says:

    Completely unrelated, but for football fans of a certain age it was reported that former cowboys running back, rodeo star and famous Skoal spokesperson Walt Garrison has passed away. If if you were not a Cowbows fan, Walt Garrison was a true NFL legend.

  12. Defense Rules Says:

    Second what all others have already said Joe; you’re getting WAAAY AHEAD of yourself. What’s gotten us to 3-1 to start the 2023 season has been more defense (#8 ranked) than offense (#20 ranked). This is getting close to 2002 revisited (#1 defense with Chucky’s #18 offense).

    I’ll readily concede that Baker’s done better than most (including me) expected thus far, but let’s not pretend that 21 PPG average is nirvana. It’s been barely more than ADEQUATE to date; nothing more, nothing less. This offense has a long ways to go before it truly can control games.

  13. stpetebucfan Says:

    Buddha….yet another great post!

    I’m on the Baker bandwagon. Having said that…again two things can be true at the same time. Baker might have been the guy this year but that doesn’t mean Trask is not the guy in the future.

    While I disagreed with the Traskers about who should start this year…IF Trask is affordable going forward and Baker becomes simply too valuable an FA then it’s time to spend those bucks on the rest of the team and try and get Kyle on the cheap for a few more years.

  14. SufferingSince76 Says:

    If Mayfield goes, it will be time for Trask to step up.

  15. Jeagan1999 Says:

    Baker….6 yrs, $180million – $200million. Sign him Jason Licht!

  16. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Yes…let’s focus on the Lions please….

  17. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    Glazers clearly are not afraid to bust out the wallet when needed. At least there is that going for us. That can open many doors when needed.

  18. orlbucfan Says:

    Buddha, no offense, but you forgot the Dolphins on your list. Still, the only undefeated teams are in the NFC. Hey joes, thank god the Bye is ending cos you guys are getting bored on here. We’re only on our FIFTH game! Sheesh!

  19. BobbyBuc Says:

    It’s like week 5. Baker has to show me a whole lot more growth before I subscribe to giving him the bag. I’ve always felt he wasn’t given a really fair shake considering he played his guts out in Cleveland while hurt, but paying him long term feels like we are returning to the Brad Johnson years with a serviceable QB, only this time he won’t have an all time great defense. I say shoot for the moon. Nobody remembers decent teams.

  20. BobbyBuc Says:

    One more note. Y’all need to stop with this Trask nonsense. I get that we all want him to succeed but he couldn’t break through when we literally had no other options on the roster. If he was even remotely “that guy” we would have definitely heard about it and most likely seen it by now. Heck, if he knew he was “that guy”, and they all do, he would have already pushed the organization to get him on the field or out of town.

  21. Brandon Says:

    If Mayfield continues the way he is playing there is a very good chance we end up franchise tagging him. Make him prove it another season, or two, that he is legit. If he shows he can play, no way he leaves Tampa. Or maybe Mayfield is sincere and he shows loyalty, and brains, and signs a longer term, under the market deal, to ensure he is the man for far longer. If he puts his name to contract for $30 million, which is still a staggering sum per season, but would also be cheap enough to allow the team to continue to be competitive by re-signing their own like Wirfs, Evans, Winfield, and White, to make sure Mayfield is successful in the most important stat of all… WINNING.

  22. StormyInFl Says:

    If Baker takes this team to the post season, then lets him walk they truly are run by idiots.

    Fortunately, Jason Licht isn’t an idiot. Anyone who thinks Licht is going to suddenly think “we’re good with Trask” when the Bucs have clearly shown (I don’t put too much stock in their words) they’re not is delusional.

    That would be a huge step backwards. Same with going with one of the rookie ‘saviors’ in the upcoming draft.

  23. Erik Hesson - Fine Artist and Founder of Says:

    It’s funny how we currently have Canales, Evans, & Mayfield (and others), and we still don’t even have a ‘Top Shelf’ offense ourselves. And some other hypothetical team will instantly have a top shelf offense… Uh? I wonder when we’re going to have a Top Shelf offense instead of just middle tier? I mean have the Bucs ever had a Top shelf/top tier offense ever?

  24. Erik Hesson - Fine Artist and Founder of Says:

    Canales should be given the Assistant Head Coach title and a fatter salary to stay here (like Monte Kiffin was). Keep the guys together and we have a squad for years to come.

    LF Keep It Going!

  25. Erik Hesson - Fine Artist and Founder of Says:

    *or whatever that title was they gave to Monte back in the day… I know it had ‘HC’ in the title. It was like Co-HC or something of that nature

  26. Erik Hesson - Fine Artist and Founder of Says:

    The truth is, Canales has been great in 75% of our games so far. He was not great in the Philly game. I mean that run call at our goaline that cost us a safety (and maybe the game) was an atrocious call. He obviously needs to learn on the fly, and he seems to be good at doing that, so hopefully he continues to get better and better.

    I’m an optimist, and I think we’re going to be a great offense and team eventually (hopefully this season and beyond) with our current group of guys, but we/he (Canales) needs to step up his game still if we’re ever going to be a ‘Top Shelf Offense’.

    Like seriously, where are the deep shots/go routes? Not a single fly pattern or go route yet. Take a couple shots, Canales! Baker has the arm for it and we have freakin speedsters and go route Monsters out there. You can’t call a shot to Trey Palmer Over the Top once in awhile? Sheesh

  27. unbelievable Says:

    Lol let’s pump the breaks a bit, it’s been 4 games.

  28. Mostly Peaceful Trask Fan Says:

    Oh so we get outbid? Don’t threaten me with a good time.

  29. Mostly Peaceful Trask Fan Says:

    Jeagan1999 organizational death blow. Tampa will be a 10 loss team for a decade if they sign Baker to that number.

  30. Mostly Peaceful Trask Fan Says:

    Cinderella has been the belle of the ball, but midnight will strike soon.

  31. BillyBucco Says:

    The Dolphins?
    If you are talking about his list of playoff teams for the NFC, the Dolphins are in the AFC.

  32. SlyPirate Says:

    Bucs are the only team that would give Baker a starting job (and do well). We’re only bidding against ourselves. If his number doesn’t allow us to sign Winfield, Wirfs, and White, then go with Trask.

  33. Zane Acker Says:

    Will we have a good game this Sunday? Will we leave RJ feeling glad we came? That’s all that matters to me. Next season and beyond? As some famous guy said, in the long run we are all dead.

  34. orlbucfan Says:

    Jags are also in the AFC.

  35. Crickett Baker Says:

    If Baker continues to do well with us then double his salary next year with even more incentives and he will stay. That will fix our CAP.

  36. Since76 Says:

    Don’t pay an average QB good QB money. Draft a QB.

  37. David Says:

    Baker is a loser. He hasn’t done anything to deserve a contract let alone becoming number one free agent. He has been average and mostly below average for the past six years. All of a sudden give me him a contract based on Bucs defeating three garbage teams with their defense.

  38. Pewter Power Says:

    Whether we resign baker or not we need some kind of plan b as in draft a quarterback. It is totally possible that baker wet the bed this or next season. I’d rather him not look like Dallas and dak Prescott and we have nothing behind him. Dak is mediocre this year and had a pretty good season last year

  39. Stan says Says:

    So many uneducated football people in Tampa. Baker is the guy I have said it over and over. He will take this team to the playoffs baring injuries to him or key players. Let’s just enjoy please.